Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gateway to Tibet: World's highest airport

Wisdom Quarterly; AP Beijing;, Sept. 17, 2013
Potala Palace, Lhasa, Himalayas, the heart of Vajrayana Buddhism and Tibetan culture
Daocheng Yading airport
Tibetans taking pictures at Daocheng Yading, part of China's plan to stabilize area (EPA).
Tibetan protest in Washington, D.C.
Daocheng Yading airport, 14,472ft (4,400 meters) above sea level, opens as China aims to boost tourism and clamp down on dissent. 
China has begun flight operations at the world's highest civilian airport in an effort to boost tourism and tighten political control over the country's restive west.
At such an elevation, Daocheng Yading Airport replaces the previous highest, Bangda Airport in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, which sits at 4,334 meters.
The (Han) People's Army of China
The region is a Gateway to Tibet, one that Beijing has sought to promote for tourism as a way of dampening dissent among the native Tibetan Buddhist population and stabilizing the area through economic development.
Beijing has peppered the region with little-used airports and spent $3.68bn (£2.3bn) building the world's highest rail line over permafrost to Tibet's capital, Lhasa.
State media said flights from Daocheng Yading Airport, which began on Monday, will slash travel time from Daocheng Yading to Sichuan's provincial capital of Chengdu from two days by bus to just 65 minutes. Other routes are due to begin by the end of the month. More

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